June 23, 2016  |  

Refugee Week

MS THOMSON (Footscray) — It is a pleasure to rise during Refugee Week to celebrate the contribution that refugees have made to my electorate, to this state and to this country. Footscray is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse electorates in Victoria, and 50 per cent of people in my electorate were born overseas, a figure I am very, very proud of. My electorate is also very proud to celebrate diversity and to welcome people from all over the world to our shores. We are a United Nations in every street and in every laneway of my electorate. I think it is very poignant at this point in time to talk about the contribution of refugees — at a time when we are criticising their right to be here. We welcome them in the electorate of Footscray. We celebrate them in the electorate of Footscray. I am proud of my heritage. My father fled Poland pre war to settle in Australia and make a life here. I commend all those refugees who have taken that leap and have done the same.